Archives for October 2013

Cookie Survival

First – I apologise for these photos. Apparently it’s been so long since I blogged, I forgot that photos in the evening in October are bloody awful. In fact, I can’t even bear to show you the finished cookie because it was half 9 in the evening and even with my lights everywhere, it still looked rubbish.

Another rubbish thing about October is that it’s starting to get cold and you really want something sweet to eat, but you can’t be bothered to go out. Let me introduce you to my favourite thing – frozen cookie dough.


It doesn’t look like much, but after a few minutes in the oven (or…um…a few minutes on the side to soften up a bit DON’T YOU JUDGE ME – it’s like the cookie bits in Ben and Jerry’s, but with ingredients that you can actually pronounce) you’ve got a sweet treat to eat any time. (And it’s easy to just bake one or two at a time – this recipe is great if you want to bake but don’t want to end up with a dozen cupcakes to eat yourself)

The basic cookie mix is made of:

  • 225g self raising flour
  • 150g butter
  • 150g sugar (caster preferably, but lets face it, this is the sort of recipe that you can put together from anything in your cupboard, so granulated is fine)
  • 1 tbsp milk

Line a few baking trays with greaseproof paper, and if you’re going to be baking some off now, preheat the oven to 200C.

I’m pretty lazy with cooking (have you ever seen my fairy cake recipe?) “Whack everything in the food processor” is my default for recipes because it’s one bowl to clean (I weigh everything straight into the bowl) and it’s just so much less faff. If you’re like me, first put your butter into the food processor and pulse a few times to break it up a bit. Put the flour and sugar in, and mix for a few minutes until it starts to combine. Use the milk if needed to make it stick together better (You’ll be able to judge this best).

If you like to do things properly, beat the butter to soften it up, then add in the sugar to make a grainy buttery paste (mmm…er….don’t eat it.) then sift in the flour and combine it all together along with the milk.

Now your dough is ready, add in your flavours. Chocolate pieces or chips work well (of course)

Roll your dough into balls, and put on the trays. If you’re going to bake them, spread them out, but if you’re going to freeze them, you can bunch them together a bit more, then pop the baking tray into the freezer for a few hours. Once they’re hard, put them into a tupperware box and put back in the freezer for emergencies.

Bake for 10 – 15 minutes depending if you want a lovely soft cookie or a nice biscuitty type one. If you’re baking straight from the freezer, give it an extra minute or two – just keep an eye on it. There are no eggs in the recipe, so it’s OK to under bake them a little bit.
If you do bake for a shorter time, let the cookies harden slightly when you take them out of the oven because you’ll burn your mouth and they’re still very soft and fall apart when they first come out. Still yummy though.


Introducing Jill

I can’t believe I haven’t introduced you all to Jill yet! Jill is an 20 month old springer spaniel who came to live with us in August, and it now feels like we’ve always had her! She’s such a happy looking dog, and likes to be with people. I’ve never known a dog to stand on her back legs so much (she likes to say hello) and hug (she’ll sit on your knee, and rest her head on your shoulder. That’s weird, isn’t it?) She hasn’t barked yet (although Fern has made up for the both of them)

Fern is OK with her, we think she thought Jill was just visiting for a few weeks, but she seems to be realising that Jill is here to stay!

You’re just here for the photos though, aren’t you?


She doesn’t like baths very much

2013-09-21 21.48.14-2

She likes to try and catch flies.


Fern and Jill looking suspicious in my room.


It’s difficult to get anything done any more


Worn out from their w-a-l-k-i-e-s

You can find more photos over on the joint Tumblr account (Fern grudgingly agreed to share it)

Waffling On

Waffles is one of those breakfasts that I always think of as a holiday breakfast. It feels special, because I always thought of waffles as being quite a difficult sort of thing to make.

How wrong I was.

In an  “I TOTALLY NEED ONE OF THOSE” session on Lakeland, I spotted this Waffle Stick Maker and since I was buying some other stuff (a tiny oven for £20 because our landlord had ignored our pleas for ours to be fixed), this “accidentally” ended up on my order as well. I know. Pointless one task gadget is pointless.

But you don’t have waffles for breakfast, do you?


Here’s my recipe in case you’re tempted to buy one – one batch makes about 12 – 15 ish sticks, but they freeze really well (I just pop them back into the iron to heat up again)


  • 125g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 eggs
  • 125ml milk
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

Mix together all of the dry ingredients in one bowl, and whisk together the wet ones in a separate bowl. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry bowl, and whisk, whisk, whisk until you’ve got a lovely smooth batter. Pour into the iron, close it up and open again when you think they’re cooked enough (or until you can’t resist any more!)

I use a pancake pen* to squidge the mixture into each section of the iron (Hi, my name’s Hayley, and I love kitchen gadgets) In the photo above, I mixed a little vanilla essence into the mixture, which gave it a darker golden colour, but not much of a difference in taste (boo!). I’ve tried putting chocolate chips into the mixture before I close the iron, but they don’t really work out too well! I ate these with stewed apples, blueberry jam (IKEA, I bloody love you) and of course, Nutella, because we still have a ton of Nutella left.

Any other suggestions of things to put in and on waffles? (Would jam work? Would putting Nutella into the batter work? I should find out. For … er … science.)

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